20VC: True ventures’ Toni Schneider on how being ceo @ automattic made Him a better investor, the biggest lessons from automattic on running successful remote teams & The right way for investors to show founders they have their support
Toni Schneider is a Partner @ True Ventures, one of the valley’s leading early-stage firms with a portfolio including the likes of Peloton, Hashicorp, Fitbit, Automattic (WordPress) and Tray.io to name a few. As for Toni, he has spent 14 years as a Partner @ True but during that tenure, he was also the CEO of Automattic for 8 years where he helped WordPress.com become a top 10 global internet destination with close to a billion monthly visitors. Before that, he was a VP @ Yahoo post their acquisition of the company he was CEO of Oddpost, much of their work formed the basis for Yahoo mail. Due to his many successes, he has won numerous awards including Startup CEO of the Year at The Crunchies.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How Toni made his way into the world of venture following two turns in the seat of CEO and then joining Yahoo?
2.) Does Toni fundamentally believe it helps when investing to have been both an operator with Automattic and Partner @ True? How did being CEO @ Automattic shape how he thinks about investing today? How did Toni manage the balancing act of a being a CEO and Partner at a venture fund for 7 years? Having been a CEO and having worked with the best, what does Toni believe are the qualities that make the great CEO of today?
3.) Why does Toni believe that startups do not have to be as stressful as they are or are portrayed to be? How does Toni deal with the shit hit the fan moments? What can an investor do in times of high stress when the founder is not performing? What is the right way for them to express that the performance is not where it needs to be? On the flip side, what is the right way for investors to show their support to the founders?
4.) What are Toni’s biggest learnings from the WordPress days on what it takes to run a truly successful remote team? Where does Toni see many people going wrong today? What does Toni advise those considering going remote first? What does Toni believe are the biggest pros and cons of the model? What infrastructure does one need to have in place to make it seamless? Does it still make sense for companies to be in the valley?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:
Toni’s Most Recent Investment: Piavita